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Stress driving three in five Britons to drink

Published:  06 July, 2012

Three in five Britons use alcohol to unwind in the evening, according to research from alcohol education charity Drinkaware.

The main reasons for needing to unwind with a drink were cited as work (60%), money worries (49%), and home life (36%). They usually have a drink with dinner (24%) or while watching TV later on (33%).

Nearly half (44%) of the 30-45 year olds surveyed by ICM feel the need to relax with alcohol everyday or most days of the week, with over a third (37%) thinking about having a swift drink before they get home. People are more likely to have an alcoholic drink if they had a stressful day (44%) or a bad day at work (29%). What's more, seven in 10 have alcohol at home and almost three quarters (71%) buy it with their regular grocery shop.

A third (34%) of men aged 30-45 and 43% of women of the same age group who drink at home report drink above the daily unit guidelines. Meanwhile 21% of men and 15% of women report drinking every day or most days.

Siobhan McCann, head of campaigns at Drinkaware, said: "Alcohol can be a 'false friend' when you are trying to deal with stress. Even though it might seem like a few drinks can relieve the pressures of the day, in the medium to long term it can actually add to them - whether they're work, financial or family related."

Professor Paul Wallace, chief medical advisor to Drinkaware, said: "While there's nothing wrong with enjoying a drink at the end of a hard day, regularly going over the government's guidelines has both short and long term health harms."